Wright Auction House presents “Casa Susanna: A Photographic Archive from the Collection of Robert Swope and Michel Hurst“ at auction in Chicago on October 30th. The collection, comprised of 340 photographs never before offered at auction, provides “a glimpse into a time and place, revealing a world once forgotten.” That means gorgeous snapshots from the ’50s and ’60s of straight men (possibly your grampa!) dressed in drag, frolicking at a clandestine upstate resort that catered to their tastes. At Casa Susanna, transvestites could have tea, entertain friends, model outfits, enjoy salon-like evenings, and pose for photos free from judgment.
These fabulous photos, unearthed at a New York flea market by the pioneering collectors Robert Swope and Michel Hurst of Full House, have been the inspiration for a hardcover book and the Tony-nominated Broadway play, Casa Valentina. Check them out and maybe buy a few for your walls!
Preview / Wrights in New York: 980 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10075
16 – 30 October 2014
11 am – 5 pm
Tuesday – Saturday
Auction / Wrights in Chicago: 1440 W Hubbard St, Chicago, IL 60642
30 October 2014
12 pm cst
From the release:
Casa Susanna, located in Hunter, New York, was a getaway for heterosexual transvestites in the mid-1950s and 1960s. Founded by Susanna, aka Tito Valenti, the resort embraced men who dressed like women, providing a safe haven for the exploration of gender roles in a time when it was not common to do so. The snapshots, clearly taken by the participants themselves, are visually striking and intimate. From doing ordinary household tasks to vamping for the camera, the images are a candid presentation of men playing the roles of many different female stereotypes including the femme fatale, the matron and the proper lady.
Casa Susanna: A Photographic Archive from the Collection of Robert Swope and Michel Hurst will be on view in our New York gallery October 16th – 30th.